From Summer Mission to Life’s Mission

Dylan’s Montreal Calling

Dylan served as part of the first GenSend team in Montreal, Canada, during the summer of 2015. His student pastor had met some GenSend staff in Canada that year and heard they needed help.

During Dylan’s second year of college, his pastor came to him, encouraging him to consider going to Montreal with GenSend for the summer.

“I didn’t know it then, but God was using that summer in Montreal to call me back to live on mission there.”

“You see, I had planned to spend the summer making money, and I had a pretty serious girlfriend. So, I said I would pray about it — with no intention of saying yes. But God told me I was going to go. That was in March, and they added me to the team. I left for Montreal in June,” Dylan explains.

Dylan recounts how God used that summer in Montreal to show him the vast lostness of the world. “I had such an expectation of mission work when I arrived and God just broke me. I realized I had nothing figured out.”

Shocked at how unreached Montreal appeared and still is, he befriended a group of people and eventually shared the gospel with them.

When Dylan started telling them about what Jesus had done for them, they stopped him with confusion. “They asked me, ‘Who is Jesus?’ They had never heard His name.”

In the “Bible Belt,” Dylan was accustomed to lostness. He knew people who had heard and rejected the gospel or decided not to make it a part of their lives.

In Montreal, things didn’t appear the same. “It was a three-and-a-half-hour plane ride, and I met people who had never heard Jesus’s name.”

From that moment, Dylan knew God had plans for him in Montreal. “When I returned home, I had different opportunities to return through my sending church, which partnered with the church in Montreal. I finally returned to the pastor, who encouraged me to go on a GenSend Summer experience. I told him that I thought God might be calling me back to Montreal. His response was, ‘I’ve been waiting for you to realize what I have already known.’”

Through the connections to Montreal through GenSend, Dylan continued his relationships with the people and church in Montreal, which would eventually become his home church.

“The problem was, I was dating my wife, and she didn’t have a calling to Montreal, and I didn’t want to force her to join me. I wanted God to put it on her heart, too.”

Dylan’s wife participated in the 2017 Montreal GenSend Summer, seeking the Lord’s calling to Montreal after knowing Dylan’s heart for the city.

“Thankfully, God broke her heart for Montreal, and we married that summer when she returned. So, we’re both former GenSend students in Montreal, NAMB church planting team members in Montreal and now the GenSend coaches for the Montreal team.”

Dylan coached the GenSend team in Montreal in the summer of 2023. His heart for GenSend students is that they would learn what organic life on mission and daily surrender to the gospel might mean for them in their individual lives, just as he was able to do.

“To hear them say that their relationship with God has changed and that they know His Word better, and to see them start to grasp what living on mission might mean in South Carolina or Texas, or anywhere God might send them — that’s the most important thing.”

Published November 3, 2023